The Labour Party (LP) candidate for Mbaitoli-Ikeduru Federal Constituency, Mr Uche Ogbuagu, has appealed to INEC to assign unbiased, uncompromised staff for the supplementary election scheduled for Saturday in Imo.
Ogbuagu made the call on Tuesday at his Akabo, Ikeduru, country home while briefing the media ahead of the April 15 supplementary election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC had declared the Feb. 25 election at Mbaitoli-Ikeduru Federal Constituency inconclusive following the cancellation of the election in 58 Polling Units.
The commission had stated that there was no clear winner in the election as the number of disenfranchised voters with Permanent Voter Card (PVC) were more than the margin of lead among the contestants.
Although, leading with the total number of votes cast, the Labour Party candidate advised the commission against the recruitment of ad hoc staff for the exercise.
“INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the National Commissioner, Dr Ken Okeagu should as a matter of urgent importance and safety assign unbiased/uncompromised INEC staff from Abuja to conduct the election.
“Let me sound straight and make it succinctly clear, that Mbaitoli and Ikeduru people will not accept any ad hoc staff in the supplementary election in the 58 polling units,” he said.
He urged the commission to seize the golden opportunity of Saturday’s supplementary election to redeem its image from the Feb. 25 and March 18 elections.
Ogbuagu, who raised alarm over threats to his life, urged the Inspector-General of Police and DSS boss, among other security chiefs, to treat his petition over the alleged threats.
The Labour Party candidate further alleged that an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Mr Charles Amadi and the Sole Administrator of Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Mr Chinasa Opara, were behind the threats.
He further accused the duo of using armed thugs and cult groups to intimidate him and the people of the area “in a bid to foist a 28-year-old son of Amadi on the people for the House of Representative seat.”
Ogbuagu, who maintained that the constituency deserved urgent security attention, also queried the legitimacy of Ebubeagu Security outfit and armed men in fake military uniforms during elections in the state.
“As the supplementary election gets underway, I find it apt to raise alarm on these impending dangers, and plans by these agents of destabilsation, whose stock in trade is diversion of the peoples wish and mandate,” he said.
Contacted for his reaction, the APC Chieftain, Amadi, insisted that he was on transit and would prefer to react at a later time.
“I am on my way to the airport now. I can’t talk now until two hours time,” the APC Chieftain said.
NAN reports that the Labour Party candidate is contesting the Saturday Supplementary election against Mr Akarachi Amadi of the APC and Mr Osmond Ukanacho of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) among others.